PALATINE, Ill. – Trailing by 13 early in the second half, the Harper College men's basketball slowly chipped away at the DuPage lead. The Hawks could not overtake their opponent, as the Chapparals held on for an 83-78 win to hand Harper its first home conference loss of the season.
Leading 46-40 at halftime, DuPage (10-16, 4-6 N4C) stretched the lead to 60-47 in the first two minutes of the second half. Harper (15-11, 7-4 N4C) slowly got back into the game. Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect)'s bucket cut the deficit to 62-55 with 11:10 to play, and Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator)'s 3-pointer made it 62-60. Michael Boyd (/Lake Zurich) went to the line for the Hawks on the next possession and split a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one.
The Chapparals responded with a 9-2 run to regain command with under seven minutes to play. The Hawks would not go quietly as Botefuhr scored with 2:35 remaining to make it 73-69. Bradley Reibel (/Prospect)'s three-point play a minute later cut the lead to one, but DuPage's Kenneth Weaver (team-high 18 points) made an off-balance jumper and was fouled. Weaver missed the free throw, but Harper committed a costly 5-second violation following a timeout.
Weaver split a pair of free throws to make it 78-74, and Sexton hit two on the other end to cut the margin in half. The Hawks nearly stole the ensuing inbounds pass but were forced to foul. Kendall Bailey knocked down two free throws, but Reibel scored on a layup to again cut the deficit to two.
Bailey split a pair of free throws on the other end to push the lead to 81-78, and Reibel got a clean look to tie it with five seconds remaining. His 3-point attempt clanged off the rim, and Bailey's two free throws with 1.9 seconds to play sealed the win.
Reibel scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting while Walsh added 14 points.
Harper built an early 20-7 lead as Walsh hit three 3-ponters in the first six minutes. However, DuPage shot their way back into the game by hitting 19-of-35 field goal attempts (54.3 percent). The Chapparals made 33-of-63 attempts (52.4 percent) for the game while the Hawks made 27-of-60 attempts (45 percent).
The Hawks play a road N4C contest at Milwaukee Saturday at 3 PM on the campus of Alverno College. Harper won a dramatic 87-84 double overtime contest against Milwaukee on Jan. 23.